Many bodybuilders do well with a macronutrient calorie breakdown of 40% complete complex carbs, 30% protein and 30% fats. Keep in mind, this example is intended to be a guideline because your body has a unique set of dietary responses. Others may find a different ratio works better for them. It's strongly suggested that you use your body and the mirror as your main guidelines — if you're not pleased with how you feel or what you see in the mirror each week, minor adjustments to your nutrient ratio and serving size are acceptable until you find what works best for your body.
To encourage muscle growth, strength gains and recovery, you need to ingest sufficient amounts of high-quality protein along with enough complex carbs to fuel heavy and intense training sessions. Strive to consume at least 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight and 1.5 to 2 grams of carbs per pound of body weight (as a baseline). Pay attention to how your body responds to the ratio of protein and carbs you are eating; depending on your body's insulin sensitivity, metabolism and body fat levels, your needs will vary. Start with at least 1 gram of protein and 1.5 grams of carbs per pound of body weight and add 25% each week if you're not growing. Your dietary fat intake should account for 0.5 grams of fat per pound of body weight.
There are four calories in every gram of carbs and protein and nine calories in every gram of fat, so an individual who weighs 180 pounds will consume 180 grams of protein per day (180 x 4 = 720 calories), 270 grams of carbs per day (270 x 4 = 1, 080 calories) and 90 grams of fat per day (90 x 9 = 810 calories). In total, that's 2, 610 calories to gain quality muscle mass without unwanted body fat. So, how do we make up the missing 400 calories? (Remember, our daily calorie guideline is body weight multiplied by 17). The answer: One "Freebie Meal" a day, which I'll explain in a moment.
Advanced Rules To Maximize The Muscle-to-Fat Ratio1. Establish a regular meal cadence by consuming at least five calorie-dense whole-food meals and one muscle shake each day. At first, this might seem like a lot of surplus calories, but this amount is necessary to facilitate muscle growth.
2. Earn your carbs by timing them as follows: one meal before you train, during your workout, one hour after you train, and four hours after you train. Only give your body carbs when they are required for intense exercise.
3. Rotate your protein sources at each meal to optimize digestion and absorption. The best sources of protein are bison, buffalo, sirloin, venison, turkey, chicken, white fish, salmon, and whole eggs. Hydrolyzed protein is your best protein powder supplement.
4. Rotate your carb sources at each meal to prevent allergies. The best sources are potatoes (all colors), yams, white and brown rice, Ezekiel cereal, Ezekiel bread, oatmeal, beans, and small amounts of fruit. A carb powder like Vitargo or Karbolyn are your best carb powder supplements. Gatorade is sufficient if the first two options are beyond your budget.
5. Eat at least 1 cup of veggies with every meal to optimize digestion and absorption, and to control blood sugar levels.
6. Rotate your fat sources each day to get a variety of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats into your diet — walnuts, pecans, cashews, almonds, all nut butters, coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, and a variety of seeds.
8. Drink a top-quality organic greens supplement when you wake up. This will infuse your body with easily absorbed vitamins, minerals, amino acids, chlorophyll, enzymes, phytonutrients, and alkaline salts that help neutralize acids and ensure your cells are living in an environment in which they can thrive and grow.